Online safety is vital – and you might think you’re on top of it as you head towards adulthood, but we wanted to remind you of some key online safety tips for students in particular! This is a big step forward in your life, and we’re on hand to help make sure it runs as smoothly as possible…
Look into a VPN
A VPN is a ‘virtual private network’. It is a browser extension you can get which allows you to place your IP address in another place – there are various companies who offer VPNs, and many have hefty student discounts too! This is a great idea if you like to study in coffee shops or anywhere else with public Wi-Fi; it adds an extra layer of protection. An added bonus of using a VPN is that if you set your IP address to another country, you get to access the internet as if you’re in that place… American Netflix, anyone?!
Use social media wisely
You’re probably moving to a new city, and moving into a place of your own for the first time – like our high-spec, purpose-built student accommodation in Hereford and Gloucester. Be careful when it comes to putting where you live on social media; try not to give away your specific address, as you never know who can see it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
And be careful what else you post; if a prank goes too far or someone else takes your joke to be quite offensive, then you might leave yourself in a sticky situation. Remember, what you post online is there forever. Our digital footprints are incredibly hard to erase.
Create strong passwords
When you’re signing up to anything student-related such as discount code sites, academic journals and so on, create strong passwords which will be tough to crack. Make them unique, and make them long with added numbers or special characters. You can get software which securely stores your passwords, too, if you’re worried about having to remember a bunch of different ones…
Avoid student scams
As with every subset of people, there are scams which go around specifically targeting students. Scammers might pose as the Student Loans Company, for example, sending you texts or emails with links that turn out to be quite dangerous; some even go as far as pretending to be student landlords, taking fake deposits and then disappearing into thin air. Be vigilant against situations like these and if you’re ever unsure, ask somebody. An email might look completely innocent, but never be embarrassed to double check.
These are some of the best online safety tips for students, helping you stay safe online while at university – we want your time to be spent studying and having fun, rather than worrying about being hacked or scammed. The Internet has a wealth of information to help you ace your degree, and we all use it every single day. So make sure you’re sensible, protected and not in any danger!